Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state is trying to sell Ayade Rice, a new product from his own private company – Ayade Farms Nig. Ltd.
“It’s cheaper, better, has higher quality and very fresh,” he said as he unveiled the product in Calabar on Friday.
Why It Matters
Though it seems out of place for a top government official to be marketing a product, Ayade does not appear to have not broken any law.
According to the Nigerian Public Service Rules, Government officials are not allowed to engage in any business with the exception of farming.
Part I, Fifth Schedule, Section of 2 (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides that “without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, a public officer shall not, except where he is NOT employed on full-time basis engage or participate in the management or running of any private business, profession or trade, but nothing in this sub-paragraph shall prevent a public officer from engaging in farming.”
Ayade, a PDP governor, gave credit to the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for his decision to venture into agriculture. He encouraged other government officials to go into farming and take advantage of the President’s agenda.
- “The choice to go into farming was deliberate and an act of will.”
- “If you don’t own a farm then you are not sensitive to the administration of President Buhari that says agriculture is the alternative to the oil road map.”
- “Do something – you can’t be in government or be an African and you don’t own a farm.”
The Ayade Business Model
Ayade suggested that he might be running an outgrowers scheme – where he would purchase rice paddies from other growers and process at his own facility. According to him, the amount of rice he could possibly grow does not match his output capacity.
Ayade said: “I realise that having a nucleus farm that I do have, cannot sustain the amount of rice that I intend to turn over in a year. Ayade Farms that produces Ayade rice will also be ready from my facility to buy off from everybody who is a rice farmer, mill it and add up to Ayade Farm value chain.”
As per pricing, Ayade is saying that Cross River indigenes will enjoy special pricing for the rice. It will be 50% off the general market price for the rest of the country.
“The market price for a 50kg will be pegged at N12,000 while the 25kg bag will go for N6,000 in Cross River, in appreciation of the trust and votes you gave to us and the nothingness in your salaries in spite of the expanded government,” he said.